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Motorized aircraft - Hans Grade
In the presence of reporters from Magdeburg and Berlin, the aviation pioneer Hans Grade took off with his homemade triplane on October 28 in 1908. The newspaper headline read: "Today, the engineer Hans Grade has successfully conducted his first flight on the Cracauer Anger in Magdeburg." The Berlin newspaper BZ even announced: "The birth of German aviation!"
The triplane was secretly built in a shed, since Grade was afraid to make a fool of himself – although he used a 36 hp six cylinder two-stroke engine, 26 ft (8 m) long wings and a homemade power distributor. For him, it was not about flying a certain distance, but the flight itself was the aim. On September 19 in 1908, the local newspaper "Magdeburger Generalanzeiger" announced the testing of the flying machine. After completing first rolling tests, short jumps followed, favored by uneven area.
Hans Grade described the first steps toward controlled motorized aviation as follows: "After a long jump flight, a woman suddenly crossed my way. I either had to knock her over, jump or even better - fly over her. I pulled the elevator and reached a height of 26 ft (8 m). I did not feel well and my machine did not seem to like this height either.
Since the aircraft oversteered, its right wing made contact with the ground and crashed. There I was sitting like Scipio looking over the ruins of Carthage. With my first crash in front of me and my first flight behind me." Grade finally managed to achieve an outstanding flying performance with his second airplane, a monoplane called “Libelle” (dragonfly). Especially the steering capability of the "Libelle" was improved, so that - compared to the triplane - one could really speak of controlled motorized aviation now.